These days, everyone is looking for a quick fix. In fact, if you’ve clicked here, you probably are too- and that’s just the world we live in: everything is instant.
Everyone is jumping from the latest fad-diet to the newest celeb-endorsed nutritional programme that’s plastered all over health magazines and Instagram.
“Flabs to abs in just 6 weeks!” -Sound familiar?
It’s 2018, and as consumers, we want it NOW! This modern age means we find it impossible to wait until tomorrow, we want instant gratification. And we’ve come to expect this from our fitness journey too.
Weight loss doesn’t work like this.
You can’t force the weight off, and if you have managed to shift some pounds with a crash diet, 9 times out of 10 you’re going to end up putting in back on pretty quickly, plus a little bit more. Ouch.
The best weight-loss success stories come from those with a knowledge of how it works. Understanding what it is you’re asking your body to do will set you up with a much better likelihood for positive change.
So what’s this magic formula?
A calorie deficit.
It’s a term you’ve probably heard thrown around before, and really it’s just super simple maths.
A calorie deficit refers to a negative energy balance.
Quite simply, eating less calories than you burn each day.
That way, what you’re asking your body to do is to tap into your fat stores for energy, hence the weight loss over a sustained period. Easy.
There are two ways of achieving this:
Lower your calorie intake from food.
Raise your calories burned by exercising more.
Now obviously, the most optimum way of achieving a daily deficit is a mixture of the two, but it varies from person to person based on prefence and lifestyle.
Personally, I prefer to track what I eat and cut out some calories that way, as I’m not one of these people that finds joy in lots of cardio. Others will find that they would prefer to leave their diet alone and concentrate more on upping their calorie output.
Either way is equally as valid, as long as you are creating a deficit.
Anyone can do it.
I’m always meeting with clients who say “I’ve tried everything” or “nothing works for me.”
It’s true, there are some incredibly rare cases, with specific medications for example, where weight loss is significantly harder, but for most people it’s just an excuse.
Basically, if you want to get lean, get toned and have definition, the deficit is the key. And being able to stick to it over periods of weeks and months, that’s when you’ll start to notice a difference.
There are other factors to consider, calories do determine weight loss, but not all calories are equal. Your weight loss is going to be much more successful if your calories are coming from the right sources.
All fad diets work in the same way- creating a deficit for you. You’re tricked into thinking some nutritional magic is happening, when really it is the simple science of breaking down fat for energy.
No-carb diets, juice cleanses, only eating certain foods after 6pm. All of these are simply restrictions in different forms to cut down your calories.
The one craze that’s really taking over at the moment is going gluten-free. Now yes, some people are coeliac, and yes, they have lost weight since removing the gluten from their diet, but that’s because of the calories they aren’t eating anymore, it’s not because gluten is the devil! A similar trend is happening with dairy-free diets. People who are lactose intolerant and aren’t eating chocolate anymore are obviously going to be dropping calories, it isn’t because milk makes you fat!
If I had to summarise this pretty simply, I’d say:
Without a calorie deficit you ain’t losing weight. Fact.
The best, and only advice to give for this is to find a nutritional plan that works for you and fits your lifestyle. You have to enjoy it, otherwise you’re bound to fail. Fitting in an achievable exercise schedule that you’re motivated by, alongside a nutritious and considered food plan will mean you’re able to commit to in in the long term, and that's when you’ll start to see results.
Still unsure? Need personal advice?
I understand that every client is different, so if you’d like advice on a plan that will work for you, get in touch and we’ll see what we can do!